Recent humanitarian efforts have led to the widespread release of antiretroviral drugs for the treatment of the more than 33 million HIV afflicted people living in resource-scarce settings. Here, the enumeration of CD4+ T lymphocytes is required to establish the level at which the immune system has been compromised. The gold standard method used in developed countries, based on flow cytometry, though widely accepted and accurate, is precluded from widespread use in resource-scarce settings due to its high expense, high technical requirements, difficulty in operation-maintenance and the lack of portability for these sophisticated laboratory-confined systems. As part of continuing efforts to develop practical diagnostic instrumentation, the integration of semiconductor nanocrystals (quantum dots, QDs) into a portable microfluidic-based lymphocyte capture and detection device is completed. This integrated system is capable of isolating and counting selected lymphocyte sub-populations (CD3+CD4+) from whole blood samples. By combining the unique optical properties of the QDs with the sample handling capabilities and cost effectiveness of novel microfluidic systems, a practical, portable lymphocyte measurement modality that correlates nicely with flow cytometry (R2 = 0.97) has been developed. This QD-based system reduces the optical requirements significantly relative to molecular fluorophores and the mini-CD4 counting device is projected to be suitable for use in both point-of-need and resource-scarce settings.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering